“No More Looking Back”: I played Side Two of Schoolboys recently and, when this song came on, I commented how unlike the Kinks it is. My wife asked what I meant. I started talking about adult-oriented rock, and Fender Rhodes keyboards, and guitars recorded with choral effects, and saxophones. She said, “I don’t know about that—I think it sounds exactly like the Kinks.” She was right, of course. Her unguarded observation was illuminating, and brought me back to what I originally thought about the song, before all the analysis set in, and the categorization, and the historical perspective. None of us thought, in 1975, “How odd for this to be a Kinks song!” We simply thought how great it was for the Kinks to have mounted such a memorable and distinctive cry from the heart. In those days, releases by artists were, by definition, appropriate releases for those artists. We hadn’t put the bands we loved into boxes—not yet, anyway. We were concerned with quality, not style, and what moved us. We enjoyed what was good, and there’s not much in the Kinks’ catalogue more pleasing than this number, especially that yearning, emotional bridge section, as the singer laments being so destructively freighted by his own memories. We get OCD and maybe some stalking, general dysfunction and a wonderful melody. Fantastic. Glorious. “No More Looking Back!” Doesn’t Ray sound like he’s trying to convince himself? He may proclaim, over and over, that from now on there will be no more retrospection, and that the nostalgic Kinks are dead, but the assertion does not quite convince. He backslides on the very next album, which begins, “Ever since I was a child….” It's hard to break the habits of mind. We are addicted, I think, to our own patterns of thinking.